100 Fastest Growing Careers

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fastest growing careersThe top 10 fastest growing careers in the next eight years shouldn't surprise anyone who has paid attention to news on where the jobs are, even during the recession. Half of the top 10 are in medical fields, with home health aides at the top with 48 percent growth projected through 2018 and 103,050 annual job openings.

But what's surprising and a little disheartening is that the largest number of annual job openings -- 391,590 -- are in food and beverage service and related workers, according to a new book, '100 Fastest-Growing Careers.' In other words: fast-food jobs, where the pay is often minimum wage and turnover among young workers is high. The food and beverage industry is No. 50 in the book -- putting it right in the middle of the fastest-growing careers, with a 10 percent growth rate.

The 402-page book, published by JIST Works, costs $17.95. Most of its content, however, is available for free online by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor. The BLS charges $23 for a paper cover edition of its Occupational Outlook Handbook, or OOH, and $39 for the hard cover version.

The U.S. economy is shifting from goods-producing to service-producing, and 14.5 million new wage and salary jobs in the service industries are anticipated, according to the BLS, whose 2010-11 edition of its Occupational Outlook Handbook makes projections from 2008 through 2018. Much of the JIST book, which is in its 11th edition, is from the OOH, and the government will release new 10-year occupational projections in December 2011.

Here are the top 10 fastest-growing careers listed in the book, followed by percent growth through 2018 and annual job openings.

  1. Home health aides and personal and home care aides: 48%, 103,050 jobs.
  2. Computer network, systems, and database engineers: 30%, 46,080 jobs.
  3. Registered nurses: 22%, 103,900 jobs.
  4. Medical assistants: 34%, 21,780 jobs.
  5. Accountants and auditors: 22%, 49,750 jobs.
  6. Dental assistants: 36%, 16,100 jobs.
  7. Human resources, training and labor relations managers and specialists: 22%, 49,750 jobs.
  8. Management analysts: 24%, 30,650 jobs.
  9. Computer software engineers and computer programmers, 21%: 45,210 jobs.
  10. Pharmacy technicians and aides: 25%, 18,810 jobs.

There's a high correlation between education and income in those jobs.

fastest-growing-careers"It's kind of hard to find get-rich quick occupations," or at least legal ones, said Laurence Shatkin, who worked on updating the book.

Home health aides can get short-term, on-the-job training, and dental assistants can get moderate on-the-job training. Bachelor's degrees or better are needed in the other top careers.

The book, as well as the free BLS guide online, gives detailed descriptions. The book gives a detailed description of the work; describes training and other qualifications, and advancement details; job outlook; earnings; related occupations; and sources of additional information.

Personal and home care aides, for example, earned a median wage of $9.22 an hour in May 2008. Home health aides had median hourly wages of $9.84. The jobs require taking care of people, often in the client's home, and includes light housekeeping. It's a physically demanding job.

The book also has sample resumes for some of the fastest-growing careers, tips on interviewing and a job-match grid to help choose a career.

Next: 5,000 New Green Jobs >>


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